Triathlon: Jonny Brownlee drives through the downpours to take brother's world crown

'Shocking' tactics can't deny him race silver and championship gold in rainswept Auckland

He endured a tough, gruelling day, sinking to his knees after crossing the line and describing his tactics as "shocking" but Jonny Brownlee is world champion. On a damp day in Auckland the younger Brownlee succeeded his elder brother to the title, a second-placed finish in the grand final yesterday ensuring he finished on top of the rankings.

"Olympic bronze and World Champion," he tweeted. "I will take that."

Conditions were dire for much of the race, with heavy rain dousing most of the 40km cycle leg, but the rain eased by the time Brownlee and the Spaniard Javier Gomez, the Olympic silver medallist and the Briton's only rival for the world crown, splashed through the puddles and on to the blue home straight. The race came down to a sprint finish and it was Gomez who edged ahead yards from the line to finish in 2hr 29sec. Brownlee acknowledged he was beaten in the race and eased up to finish two seconds behind.

The result that mattered most, though, was Brownlee finishing inside the top three: silver meant world gold (pictured). "Jonathan is a well-deserved champion," said Gomez.

Last year Alistair Brownlee won the title for the second time but injury early in the season ended his chances of a third win. Instead, his brother now has a large trophy to decorate the new house he will move into when he returns home this week.

"It was a really tough day," said Brownlee. "Everyone was tired after the bike. The first two laps of the run were nice and easy, then Javier attacked and sped up a little bit and it came down to a sprint.

"My tactics were shocking. I let him hide from the wind and he just came past me. But I'm glad the season's over; it's been a long year and I'm tired."

It has been Brownlee's longest ever season, one stretched by Olympic preparation and a late finish. He will have some time off now, decorating the new house some 500m down the road from Alistair's, before returning to attempt to match his brother's two titles next year.

At 22 Brownlee will remain in the sport at least through to the Rio Olympics. Triathlon is enjoying a surge in popularity and in two years the sport will make its debut in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Brownlee will be among the favourites – how strong a favourite depends on his brother. Alistair, who beat Jonny in the two major races they competed in this year, may look to switch to the track for the Commonwealths. At the Olympic Games the elder Brownlee ran his 10km only a second slower than Chris Thompson, Britain's No 2 in the 10,000m, in his heat in the Olympic Stadium, and Thompson had not just swum 1500m and cycled 40km.

The younger Brownlee may have considered his own tactics "shocking" – you can take the boy out of Yorkshire but you can't take Yorkshire of the boy – yet there was never a moment when it looked as if the world title might slip away. He led the field out of Waitemata harbour after the swim and then tucked into the pack chasing the New Zealander Kris Gemmell, who made an early break on his bike.

Caution was the watchword during the ride around Auckland's hilly course. The heavy rain made conditions treacherous as Brownlee and Gomez, who trailed the Briton by 180 points coming into the race, kept wary eyes on each other. Gemmell led into the final leg but was soon caught by Gomez and Brownlee and the two then matched each other stride for stride through Auckland's puddled streets. Gomez found something extra at the last but it was not enough to stop him from having to look up yet again to a Brownlee on top of the podium.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is very proud of t...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales

£75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Head of Sales position is offered on...

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Control / Sales Ledger Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a temporary position wo...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen